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February 28, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Campaigns Officer

Greetings, my name is Josh Van Veen and I am your campaigns officer for this year. Throughout our association’s history, the role of a campaigns officer has been to ensure members have easy access to information regarding issues that affect them; whether as students or as citizens.

In the coming weeks, I hope to meet with some of the representative and cultural groups on campus to get a feel for just what it is students in 2011 care about. So if there are any issues you or your group are concerned about that you’d like VUWSA’s help in publicising, please get in touch. My job is to help you have your say.

And there is no better time to have your say than in election year. For many of you, 2011 will be the first time you get to exercise your democratic right to vote in a national election.
Don’t waste this opportunity. Individually, your vote counts. Collectively, your vote counts even more.

Students are a much abused, under-appreciated group of society. But your vote will help determine the composition of the next government. Political parties recognise this. It’s up to us to make sure they take us seriously.

Around the world, people are risking their lives in the name of democracy. The democratic rights that we in New Zealand take for granted are not universal. In fact, that will be my main goal this year: to make sure as many of you as possible exercise those rights.

We should be proud of our democratic tradition and institutions.  But participation is the key. That doesn’t just go for national politics; it also goes for student democracy. VUWSA is our organisation and it is our responsibility.

Plato once observed: “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” Remember that.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you have any questions, comments or want help with any projects, feel free to visit my office or get in touch via email.
Good luck,
Josh Van Veen

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